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Re: MegaPoints Controllers

wirefordcc
 

Hi Lou,

A friend of mine has gotten interested in the Walther's LCS system.  I asked him for his input on it.  Here it is:

The Walthers LCS switch machines are servo motors with DCC decoders on them as well. The system is all plug-n-play with no soldering. Most of the components are sold separately with two different styles of LED push button facia controllers. I personally like the two color controller where one color is always lit. There is also available and adapter for tortoise machines to run on this system. Perhaps parts of this system might fit your needs.

-Keith

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


MegaPoints Controllers

loumickie
 

All,

I'm in the process of building my first large HO scale railroad with Digitrax DCC. The layout features a hidden six track staging yard with a return loop at one end. I want to be able to use servo motors to control the turnouts and have them setup for automatic route control. I'll install backup cameras to monitor the tracks, and possibly some IR detectors.

I'm considering using components from the UK company MegaPoints Controllers because of the ease of route control and their well tested servo controller boards, as well as there control panels.

I'm wondering what components I could use from U.S. distributors to control the servos and incorporate route control. I realize JMRI would be one way to do it, but it would be nice to have a control panel with push buttons to do the same thing. I'm aware that TamValley offers some servo controllers, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what components would work together to accomplish what the MegaPoints system can do. Any advice would be most welcome.

Thanks,
Lou N


Re: Single Crossovers with Insulafrog Turnouts

Brian Eiland
 

[quote]The frog rails are not connected to the other frog rails, just to the other switch's curved stock rail.  [/quote]

You are correct, I made a mistake there.

But what I was looking at is even in the situation where both turnouts were thrown in their straight thru routes, the frogs of both turnouts could have two opposing track powers that could present the frog shorting problem we are trying to avoid.
It appears we DO NEED insulators in those tracks that join the two turnouts of the crossover.


Re: Single Crossovers with Insulafrog Turnouts

wirefordcc
 

I echo Don Vollrath's comment.

Let me further amplify Don's comment about adding insulated joiners at the frog end of every turnout.  As I build my new railroad, that is exactly what I am doing.  Electrically, you may not have to, but if you make a wiring mistake, problems are easily found.  You need joiners, whether they be insulated or metal, so why not avoid trouble?

Allan Gartner
Wiring For DCC


Re: insulfrog diagram on allan's website called incorrect?

Jerry Michels
 

Direction of travel is determined by the switch rails, often incorrectly called point rails because they are often referred to as "points", as one end is pointed like a blade 

This is curious.  I have called points, points for over 50 years, and never heard of points being a component of the frog. I think I will continue to call the parts of a turnout the points end and the frog end.  99% will understand exactly what I mean. 
Jerry Michels 


Re: Single Crossovers with Insulafrog Turnouts

Don Vollrath
 

One cannot go wrong to supply insulated joiners at the frog end of every turnout. This avoids any issues caused by power routing via the points You can always add electrical feed wires after the turnout. However be careful in the case of crossovers. One must maintain the proper polarity Of both sides of the mainlines in order to avoid the creation of a ‘reversing’ issue.
DonV


insulfrog diagram on allan's website called incorrect?

Brian Eiland
 

No, the diagram is incorrect.

The point rails form the frog, along with the wing rails. Today most prototype frogs are a one piece casting, so they don't really use the point and wing rails to form them.

Direction of travel is determined by the switch rails, often incorrectly called point rails because they are often referred to as "points", as one end is pointed like a blade.

There are many misleadingly labelled diagrams out there which only serve to confuse, because they take a mix and match approach to their terminology. 

Even NMRA documents mention switch rails and the frog point rails. Their diagram in NMRA Technical Note TN-12 doesn't match the one you found.


Single Crossovers with Insulafrog Turnouts

Brian Eiland
 

Single Crossovers with Insulafrog Turnouts

A question about how to correctly wire a single crossover made up of Peco Insulafrog turnouts came up over here as well, but it left me with a question.
 

I have a number of locations on my layout plan where I have the diverging routes (frog tracks/rails) mated up to one another back-to-back so to speak, ....

1) long turnouts in pairs forming a single crossover
2) long turnout paired with curved turnout forming a single crossover

I'm trying to determine my need for insulators between the pairs, in both cases,.... where they might be thrown correctly in unison,...and where they might be thrown accidentally against one another.


Re: BD 20 false positive

wirefordcc
 

Hi Russ,

 

Starting in January, I will be taking over the DCC Corner column in Model Railroader.  I will be including questions and answers.  Can I use your question?  If so, please provide your last name, city, and state.

 

Also, I’d like to hear how you make out.

 

Someone else suggested that you try a different BD20.  You can do that, but if you just want to see if your BD20 is defective, just disconnect the wire going through the red transformer.  The BD20 output should go away.

 

How many loops do you have going through your BD20?  If you have more than one, you may try less.  Also, don’t put things like Frog Juicers after the BD20.  That will cause it to false.  And Don Vollrath recommended that you don't have twisted wires after your BD20.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

 


Re: BD 20 false positive

Don Vollrath
 

Russ, use only one pass through of the sub bus Sensing wire to that section of track. Make sure you don’t have any twisted wire after the BD20 toward the track section. Make sure there are no other electrical loads attached to the wires to that section of track. Desensitize the BD20 or replace it as others have said.
DonV


Re: BD 20 false positive

whmvd
 

Russ,

Might be handy to first make sure you're solving the actual issue. First exchange the not working detector with one that's known to work. If the problem stays with the same block, you're right - it's fiddling time. But if it moves with the detector, replace the detector.

Wouter


On Sun, 19 Jul 2020 at 21:27, Russ Wright <russwright5@...> wrote:
I have a block that shows a false positive.  The manual suggests a pot method of desensitizing.  The p/n suggested seems to be unavailable at digikey.  Can anyone provide alternative ideas or possible solutions?  Block with problem is 25 feet long with Hand laid wood ties and ballast on Homosote.
Thanks for any ideas.
Russ in Michigan




Re: BD 20 false positive

wirefordcc
 

Hi Russ,

The BD20 instructions also suggest that you can just use a resistor to desensitize the BD20.  The trick is figuring out what resistor you need.  You can do any of the following:
1.  Try different resistors.  The BD20 instructions suggest that you may need something in the 500 - 1000 ohm range.
2.  Get a pot that doesn't fit, but attach some leads to it and adjust it until you get the result you want.  Then measure the value of the pot.
3.  Get or borrow a resistor box.  Adjust it until you find a value that works and then buy the nearest resistor to whatever you dialed up on the box.

Note:  Standard resistor values seem strange.  Don't worry that you can't buy the exact value you figured you needed.  Dial your pot or resistor box to a standard value and see if that works for you.  You may have to go up or down a little.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


BD 20 false positive

Russ Wright
 

I have a block that shows a false positive. The manual suggests a pot method of desensitizing. The p/n suggested seems to be unavailable at digikey. Can anyone provide alternative ideas or possible solutions? Block with problem is 25 feet long with Hand laid wood ties and ballast on Homosote.
Thanks for any ideas.
Russ in Michigan


Re: Programming track wiring

Nick Ostrosky
 

Thank you for all your responses on this.  Someone did point out quickly what I was too dense to see - the obvious!  I typically do my programming with JMRI, hence the desire to “write” changes and once the Auto SW goes back to “main” power test those changes without having to do anything else, but I see why that’s a problem.  I will look further into programming on the main, but was under the impression (from the JMRI group) that this wasn’t always optimal.  I like the trestle idea but in my circumstance it wouldn’t be practical, though it is an idea to file away for later.

 

I will also pull the photo from the library so no one stumbles across it and think it’s one way to do things.

 

Thanks!

 

Nick


Re: Capacitive Discharge Turnout Activation

Robert Morrison
 

If you only throw one or two switches at one time, the CD circuit will recharge within a few seconds and you can throw another switch.  It is doubtful that you will throw the control switches in rapid succession and overwhelm the CD circuit if you throw one switch at a time and move your hand to the next control switch.

I use the Peco CD circuit (PL-35), Turnout motor (PL-11) and throw lever PL-26B) on my layout. I can throw switches as fast as I can move my hand without losing too much power from the CD. 

So, unless you need to throw 10 turnouts at once, you should be "good to go.”

That’s my experience, for what it is worth.

Rob


Robert Morrison




Wire Clips for Connecting point and closure rails?

Brian Eiland
 

Accidents, Turnouts thrown against Us

So, if it is truly necessary to cut those rails after the frog. Where is the best place? If I do no cuts, but just put insulators between those rails and the flex track they are attached to. Would that be sufficient? I see it mentioned about loco length. But with locos being anywhere from 8" to over 12" that isn't an easy decision. Also, I see where some have cut the rails almost right after the frog and others cut a foot away. ? So I'm confused.
Morgan

John Garaty has addressed this issue before, and if i recall properly has suggested that these insulated lengths could be quite a bit longer RATHER than up close to the frog of the turnout,...maybe a loco length away.

At first I was asking myself why? But I think I now have a reason to give this higher considerations. One problem that most all of us have had is accidentally entering a turnout that is thrown against us !! And this could be more problematic with DCC tracks as the shorts can be more devastating. If we had the single polarity frog tracks recommended by the twin insulators suggested by the Insulfrog solution,.... then our train would encounter a dead track situation about a foot away from that turnout that was thrown against us.


Re: Wire Clips for Connecting point and closure rails?

Brian Eiland
 

I was doing a little re-analyzing this morning about my 'wire clip' idea. Yes, it does do the job of extra energizing those point and closure rails, BUT it also defeats the idea of providing that insulafrog of its total non-shorting potential. Alan's 'Option One' also defeats the frog shorting problem that might occur with wide flat wheels on the frog, as the two tracks are opposite polarity when wired that way.

The whole idea of either insulating (or cutting gaps in) both of those inner rails leaving the frog is to let the frog joint ONLY assume one track polarity at any one time. The act of isolating those existing frog tracks from the subsequent follow-on trackage means they can only get power from the proceeding closure rails. And ideally we only want a single polarity at any one time. And that takes us back to those damn little connecting tabs on the point rails. How do we make these more reliable over a long period of time??

Could there be a third option?

********************************************************

On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 5:04 PM Brian Eiland via groups.io <railandsail=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I'm thinking if I subsequently have a problem in the long term, perhaps the simply solution is to just drop in some wire clips like this between the closure rails and the main track, OR perhaps configure that wire clip such that it touches both the closure rail and the point rail with its free arm.

https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/37935?page=3#comment-440945


Re: Programming track wiring

Carl
 

Hi Gang:

When I was building Jim's new work bench, ( https://www.instructables.com/id/Jims-Model-Railroad-Work-Bench/ ) I tried to talk him into a trestle over his bench. My thought was, he could use it as a programming track and also a work track for adjustments. I would leave a gap between the rails so you could reach the bottom of the locomotives with screwdrivers, etc. When he was done, he could run the loco back onto the layout without touching it. I do like the isolation section. Perhaps also make the toggles "center off".

Carl.

On 7/18/2020 10:53 AM, whmvd wrote:
Hi Nick,

There is a much easier option, and that is: do ONLY the address programming on the programming track. Then, put your engine on the main, use programming on the main and have instant gratification while leaving your wiring untouched!

Wouter

On Sat, 18 Jul 2020 at 15:37, Nick Ostrosky <nick79ostr@...> wrote:
Looking over the newly posted material on this topic I'm feeling a little dense.  I currently have a Powercab with the NCE auto switch for a separate programming track I installed directly under my layout.  Always a pain to move a loco from the main to programming and back again to test my results, especially when I'm having to tweak things several times to get it where I want it.  But the wiring in these diagrams with the auto switch has always seemed overly complicated to me - adding DPDT switches, etc.

My question: would this diagram also work so I could simply create an isolated section on my main for programming, or would I be at risk of something (catastrophic?) happening to any or all of my equipment?  The auto switch should permit only one type of power going out at a time, so what are all the DPDT switches doing that the auto switch is not?

Thanks!

Nick


Re: Programming track wiring

whmvd
 

Hi Nick,

There is a much easier option, and that is: do ONLY the address programming on the programming track. Then, put your engine on the main, use programming on the main and have instant gratification while leaving your wiring untouched!

Wouter


On Sat, 18 Jul 2020 at 15:37, Nick Ostrosky <nick79ostr@...> wrote:
Looking over the newly posted material on this topic I'm feeling a little dense.  I currently have a Powercab with the NCE auto switch for a separate programming track I installed directly under my layout.  Always a pain to move a loco from the main to programming and back again to test my results, especially when I'm having to tweak things several times to get it where I want it.  But the wiring in these diagrams with the auto switch has always seemed overly complicated to me - adding DPDT switches, etc.

My question: would this diagram also work so I could simply create an isolated section on my main for programming, or would I be at risk of something (catastrophic?) happening to any or all of my equipment?  The auto switch should permit only one type of power going out at a time, so what are all the DPDT switches doing that the auto switch is not?

Thanks!

Nick


Re: Programming track wiring

wirefordcc
 

Hi Nick,

I looked at your diagram.  You cannot have the programming track wired to your layout mains.  At a minimum, that shorts the two together.  It might even damage some of your equipment.

Are you using programming on the main whenever you can?  This is especially handy when you are tweaking things like volume, selecting different sounds, momentum, and the like.

I gather you are using the NCE PowerCab with the AutoSwitch.  The simplest thing you need is the DPDT throw switch shown on my website at:  http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm#d2.  The very first diagram I have is under "Work Bench Programming Track."  On my last layout, this was the arrangement I used.  I just had six feet of track on my work bench for when programming on the main wasn't appropriate.  When programming on the main works, as it does on most locomotives today, I just programmed things on my layout.

If you want a programming section on your layout, I highly recommend an arrangement like I show on my website under "Layout Programming Track with Deadzone."  This prevents you from inadvertently crossing from the mains to the programming track.  If you are using a PowerCab with AutoSwitch, Jim Exler recently contributed some diagrams showing the wiring up of these NCE products as well as layouts using the NCE SB5.  These arrangements help prevent you from damaging things and the need to send off for repair.  The switches alone are cheaper than the cost of shipping and definitely less than the cost of repair.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC